I am looking to find any descendent of

Jeanne Smith Image
02/03/2015 - 11:08

I am looking to find any descendent of my great grandparents Luigi Caggiano (his mother's maiden name Lombardi) born July 28, 1854and Emilia Martone born in 1856.  They came from Benevento area the village of Buonalbergo.  They had 3 sons and I think a daughter.  I am not sure of her name but their sons were George, Ben and Anthony.  They came to USA in early 1900 or late 1800's.  My grandfather and his brother's changed their last name to Cassier because at that time they could not get jobs.  I would like to connect with Antonnio Caggiano of Cantina Caggiano as I have seen a photo of him on his web page and he bears a remarkable resemblance to a cousin of mine.  I would like to know if his great grandfather  and my great grandfather were brothers.  I have always been interested in my Italian heritage and wished I could have gotten more information from my grandfather when I was younger.  My grandfather had a remarkable garden he terraced on a hill and it reminds me of what he and his family may have had in Italy.  He grew everything from vegetables to fruit trees and flowers.  He also was very handy with his hands making things working with wood.  Any information would be greatly appreciated.  I can be reached by email at:  jmsjeanne1@aol.com. Grazzi for your help.  Jeanne Cassier Smith



In southern Italy records go back to at least 1809, some near Naple even farther back. The State Archives in Benevento would have the records between 1809 and 1865. You can find records after 1865 on-line at Family Search.org.Have you tried sending an email to Antonio? Be aware this surname is very common in the Campania Region. 

Hello Again, I am planning on visiting in April 2016!  How is the weather?  I have looked into Joe Bannanas Limos and they sound wonderful.  Does anyone have other reccomondations?  We will fly into Naples and return via Rome.  We will go to Buonalbergo to look up records there.  Do they have a town hall to do this?  We will also visit Taurasi.  I am looking forward to any advise I can get to look up my past relatives and any that may still be in Italy.this is a dream of mine.  We will stay in Sorrento and go from there unless I get good feedback as to another way.  We will be there for 2 weeks total.  I am thinking 1 week in Rome at the end of our trip.  There is so much to see and take in.  We speak no Italian! Looking forward to what everyone has for input!  Is Benevento the best place for us to look up records and is it accessible to where we will be?  Thank you for your help!  Jeanne

Hi Jeanne, botch Buonalbergo and Taurasi have town halls. As you are trying to find documents going back to the 1850's, you should also look into the Parish Archives, as Many Civil Registries did not start operating until Italy's unification. cAmpania was part of the old Kingdom of Naples and I understand that many records have been properly kept... Unless they were destroyed by war, earthquakes, fires....keep in mind that some of the Catholic Church records are written in Latin.in any case, I wish you luck. You are going to need it smiley

Difficult to say what the weather is going to be like, these are averages http://www.holiday-weather.com/sorrento/averages/april/ as this year has been a bit whimsical. Do bring a raincoat, as it generally rains in April. What to pack? Lots of layers and mix-and-match. Preferably a combination of two or three plain colours. You can always add a colorful scarf or two....

I am not too good on the computer!  I look forward to any help I can get to find family.  I did try to contact Antonnio a few years go on his web site but got no response. I will try to be more involved in trying to find ny family on both sides .  Ciao and grazzi for your help.  Jeanne

Jeanne, Our experience is that many Italians prefer face-to-face confirmation versus the inpersonal aspects of email. Unless he knows for sure there is a family connection he may be uninterested in making a reply.See what you can find in your search and then plan your visit to the area where your family originates from and you may be surprised what relatives you might find living here in Italy.

Thank you Bruno for your response.  Getting on a plane is kind of scarey for me.  If I find in my research there is family I may have to do that.  I have always wanted to travel but that has stopped me.  I will not give up though.  This is a mission in life I have to do.  Once again thank you for your help.  Grazzi Jeanne Smith

Jeanne, I would way that a personal letter with a few photographs of your side of the family - particularly the one of your cousin who resembles Antonio Caggiano - and a few stories about your grandfather and his terraced garden may get you a response. Many people do not like to answer emails from unknown people. You have nothing to loose.... Good luck!

Thank you Gala, that sounds like a great idea.  I will research some photos I have here and try to get a photo of my cousin to forward. I would also need Antonio's address.  I imagine I can get it from his website.  Thank you again for the response everyone is giving me great suggestions!  Grazzi, Jeanne Smith

Jeanne that is a lot to do in a very short time! So to get the most out of it you may want to try again to get some information/answers before you arrive. This is the Comune (Town Hall) website for BuonAlbergo and in the blue box at the top of the page they have this email address; info@comune.buonalbergo.bn.it . It might be worth getting in touch, use Google translate if you can't find anyone to translate for you. You could also use Google Chrome as a browser as it has a reasonable "translate" page option for Italian sites. 

Jeanne, I have been looking at distances and you would need to drive for over two and a half hours to get from Sorrento to either Buonalbergo or Taurasi. Most town halls and parish offices are open in the morning. My advice would be to find some accommodation closer to those towns when you want to conduct your searches. Sorrento is beautiful... But not very convenient for your searches.

Yes it is a distance.  The limo company suggested Sorrento.  I will be in touch with them and find out if there is a closer location they can find for us.  We were not feeling comfortable driving ourselves as we do not speak Italian and were not sure of the roads.  

May I suggest that you base yourselves in Benevento for a few days to conduct this research? It is only 30 minutes away from Buonalbergo and I guess that a taxi to take you there will cost you considerably less than a limo all the way from Sorrento. Also, Benevento is a great city, full of history and you will find convenient accommodation there. Buonalbergo is very small.

Sounds wonderful.  I got a price of 550€ for 9-10 hr trip to Buonalbergo and Taurasi from Sorrento with driver,guide gas and tolls.  Perhaps I should ask them to base it out of Benevento instead and it might be less.  I heard state archives are there as well!  I wish we felt comfortable to rent a car.  You are so helpful and I really appreciate your feedback!  I will check lodging in Benevento.  Is it easy to walk around the city?  I hope they have some quaint restaurants!   Getting more excited!  Thank you so much!

Glad to help, Jeanne. I am afraid that I have not been in Benevento for quite a long time, but I remember it as a city worth visiting. In you case, it would be vital. Some 3 years ago, I was involved in the search of my husband's grandfather's baptism certificate in a small town near Ravenna. It was a difficult search, as it did not appear in the parish index (someone made a mistake and forgot to insert it) and it was handwritten in Latin... It took us three days of searching and reading all the books to finally find it, which was a thrill! This is why I sympathies with you and I can already tell you that all searches take considerable time and effort.Sorrento is a wonderful town to visit, but it is not a convenient place to base yourselves. Benevento is ideal.you will find some information here http://www.lonelyplanet.com/italy/campania/benevento and I advise you to get one of the Lonely Planet books as they are excellent guides.Best wishes.

Gala, thank you so much for all the wonderful information!  Benevento is now the way to go!  I have to do more research as to where to stay. Any suggestions would be helpful! I wish we could rent a car but we are not familiar with the roads or language!  I am not a seasoned traveler!  I do need to go to the archives and to see Buonalbergo where my great grandfather and grandfather came from!  I need to also find the grave of my great grandmother Emilia Martone.  Also my great grandfather's mothers maiden name was Lombardi so that will need to be looked up too! And of course the Caggiano surname!  This has been a mission in my life since I was a young teenager.   I am now ready to get myself on a plane anxiety and all and make this a reality.  I am looking to go to Taurasi as well to Cantina Caggiano!  How far is it from Buonalbergo?  Could we do a taxi as well?  Looking forward to an amazing journey!   Thank you for everything!  smiley

Jeanne, I found this for you http://www.italianside.com/campania/benevento/buonalbergo/genealogy/As you will see, it gives valuable advice and ideas and can also put you in touch with professional genealogists, who can overcome many difficulties untrained people may have.Taurasi is some 15 miles away from Benevento. I am certain that there will be even public transport going there, but a taxi is always an option. Another piece of advice, if you have to do research in the old books and registers, take with you a pair of white cotton gloves, a lead pencil and some paper to take notes.mif the authorities see you armed with these, they will think that you are an experienced researcher and trust you with the books. You should always wear the gloves when going through the pages and only lead pencils (no ink to avoid accidents) are allowed.